Trent Rockets 110 for 1 (Lee 44*) beat Manchester Originals 107 for 5 (Dottin 30, Gordon 1-18) by nine wickets
After winning only one of their first five matches, Trent Rockets kept their hopes of a top-three finish in the Women’s Hundred just about alive with a thumping nine-wicket victory over Manchester Originals, chasing down a modest target of 108 with a massive 36 balls to spare.
Deandra Dottin made 30 from 26 for the Originals, adding 40 for the third wicket with Laura Wolvaardt (23 from 31) before Amanda Jade-Wellington added 22 from 19 at the end of the innings but 107 for 5 always looked under par.
Originals are not mathematically out of contention but, in truth, neither side is likely to be involved in the two games that will decide the tournament.
Originals made an unconvincing start after opting to bat first and never recovered, losing Emma Lamb and Fi Morris for 15 in the first 22 balls.
Lamb caught at short fine leg on the scoop as Katherine Sciver-Brunt, plainly still troubled by the hip injury that sidelined her for the last two games and coming in off a short run, claimed the first wicket of what is set to be her last tournament. Morris hit Alexa Stonehouse straight to the fielder at mid-off.
With spinners Kirstie Gordon and Alana King stalling the Originals in their attempts to accelerate the visitors had much to do to post a defendable total at 47 for 2 from 50.
With pressure mounting, Wolvaardt – missed by keeper Lee off King on 16 – was stumped as Gordon darted one in flatter and the dangerous Dottin, put down on 28 by the normally reliable Jo Gardner, holed out to deep midwicket with only two added to her score.
Originals skipper Sophie Ecclestone, running on Wellington’s reverse sweep, was beaten by Gordon’s throw from point, leaving her side floundering at 72 for 5 from 77. Katie George joined Wellington in an enterprising finale that realised another 35 from 23 balls.
Yet Rockets always fancied their chances chasing 108 to win, a target that quickly looked a formality as Smith and Lee piled on 49 in the powerplay, Smith hugely impressive with six boundaries, swept, pulled or hammered through cover, Lee chipping in with four. One sequence of 11 deliveries saw nine balls go to the rope, with no bowler spared.
A top edge off Ecclestone, whom she had hit for three boundaries in the England left-armer’s opening set, saw Smith caught at short fine leg but her departure simply ushered in Nat Sciver-Brunt to show off her skills with five boundaries and finish the job in rapid time.